Category Archives: Race Report

3 in 3hr – The Challenge Continues

Lee Valley Velopark Half Marathon

by Stu Blofeld

With quite a few LBAC runners competing in an Autumn marathon many of us are putting the final touches to our training and looking for that pre-marathon race sharpener to calm the nerves and help with pace expectations on the big day. I chose to head over to London and run around in circles at the Lee Valley Velopark Half Marathon.

The idea for this blog during my training for the 3in3marathonchallenge was to provide regular weekly updates. Evidently I haven’t being doing that, both because of a lack of time but mainly I think because from week to week during marathon training there isn’t always anything exciting to talk about. I don’t believe in blogging just for blogging sake and I’d much rather have something to say and reflect on that then a continuous monotonous diatrade of thoughts. So with that in mind let’s fly through the last 4 weeks since my last post. read more

Buttermere Beat Us

Breca Buttermere Swimrun

by Fiona Towell Every athlete has ONE event every year and this one was mine for 2018 : image1.jpeg Sadly my new super-dooper trail vivobarefoot shoes (been running in them for 3 months) resulted in a collapsed arch in my right foot on the Wednesday night club run on the 8th August so feeling very tearful and unable to walk on Thursday I continued to RICE and texted an SOS to Carmel at The Sports Therapy Room where I proceeded to cry before, during and after treatment – only the post treatment tears were ones of joy at the truly biblical miracle (or was it a spell?) that her healing hands cast removing the worst of the sting from the upper bridge of my foot above my toes. I gingerly walked to the passenger seat of the car … Luckily I’m not a ‘performance’ athlete so all I have to do is keep moving to make the cut off times 🤞 and at that point I had 40 hours to prepare. In normal circumstances I would have pulled out, but one has a buddy on SwimRun and one doesn’t let one’s buddy down unless one is crawling .. So, to the event: The sun shone for the Saturday evening briefing of course ahead of the forecast rain ☔️ for Sunday. We were all bussed out to the blustery start at 7:30am. Our bus and the one ahead went the wrong way and the drivers had to do three point turns on Lake District lanes much to our confusion and amusement. It started with a hill: Alex and I were at the back from the start. And that’s pretty much where we stayed trading last and second last place with a couple of blokes throughout … image2.jpeg The swims are just beautiful. The swell was high for the first couple but despite the weather forecast the sun came out and the lakes stilled for our next 5 .. image3.jpeg With 11 swims and 12 runs at Buttermere it takes a while to get into a rhythm but we did – until we hit the first hill. We dug in. We were expecting some clambering over rocks but not to that extent! We knew the downhills would be tough and neither of us are mountain goats but we weren’t expecting to travel kilometres on our bums. The views however were spectacular! image4.jpeg The boys overtook us on the downhills and drifted off (literally) in the swims where we managed to judge the currents and sight better. 25 minutes ahead of cut off time at Checkpoint 4 before the Buttermere 14k section we figured we might make it. That gave us 3 hours and 20 minutes to get over and into the next valley. A glance at the sheer climb in front of us as we stuffed new potatoes and Jaffa cakes into our mouths and the rock face above it didn’t deter us but it should have! It took us 3 hours and 50 minutes to reach the final check point on the other side. We are NOT and never will be ‘fell runners’ During that trek the soles of the old trainers I had to wear came off (both feet) and I had to strap them on with my shoe-laces. They still caught on the rocks and filled up even more with gravel. Our nice (and nimble) marshal tail walker ripped the duck tape from the markers to fashion a better seal but two stream crossings later they were off! Thankfully the streams allow water bottle replenishing up there but it’s still a mission to clamber in and bend down that far in to the race. Another lovely ‘lady of the fells’ filled my water bottle up from the stream. Big thumbs up 👍 to all of the marshals at this event. image5.jpeg When the lads overtook us on the downhills leaving the tail walker with us they were generally bickering. I had the best buddy ever in Alex – we encouraged each other throughout. It was marvellous to see my hubby at several lake crossings – and he tackled the back half of Buttermere to bring us lucozade just when we needed it and accompanied us down lifting our spirits when we knew we weren’t going to make it. Buttermere well and truly beat us. But it was a whole six minutes before the boys appeared out of the fern and joined us for the lift back to HQ where I threw my trainers in the bin and refused the proffered tee-shirt ‘cos it had ‘finisher’ written on it 🤣 Brilliant event and I WILL tackle it again – one day … Commiseration Drinks on Wednesday. 9.5 brutal hours (all the post race Pain and no medal) I’ll be damned if I’m running beforehand.😉 image6.jpeg

In the Clutches of the Heatwave

Beds AAA 10k

10k Road Club Championship Race

The Club Championships race for 10k this year was in Bedford. With Pete Mackrell involved in the organisation and 4 other club members helping him out, the race had a very LBAC feel around it.

As the 15 competitors wearing Purple and Gold rocked up at the Bedford Athletics track to collect numbers it was all rather friendly and could well have been the Leighton 10 that we had entered. Pete Mackrell and Chris Norman were hunched over a laptop working on a spreadsheet covered in numbers and figures, Stu Blofeld was handing out the numbers and pins with a cheery smile and words of encouragement, Richard Inchley and Uncle Pete were then milling about near the start and later marshaling and Chris Dimmock was proudly offering water to all those that finished. It was hard to avoid our club members! read more

Chiltern Challenge 50km

Chiltern Challenge 50km – well I was looking for a challenge!

by Jo Sharples

Why would you ever want to? Followed with, are you mad? Seem to be common reactions to me running the Chiltern Challenge 50KM ultra. Mad, in my opinion, no but lost maybe. So lets start at the beginning.

Berlin Airport 2017.

I had just run the 2017 BMW Berlin Marathon, and was queuing to check in at the airport. It seemed most other Brits had also chosen this flight home. Berlin had been a mixed bag for me; I was overall pleased with my time, but couldn’t quite stop the disappointment I was feeling. I had experienced very difficult family issues in the final part of my training, and had been struggling to work let alone have the motivation and determination to train. This alongside an attempted burglary the day before the marathon in our hotel room had me mentally on the next flight home. There were too many problems and worries I could not solve here and I needed to escape. What was I to do? My race pack was collected, I had even already pinned my number to my LBAC vest. I could not honestly tell you what MY decision would have been if Sam had not been there. His stern, fair, and supportive talk was 100% the reason I made it to the start line. So I should have been happy with 2min shy of a PB- but that had not been the goal at Berlin. read more

Miles & Miles of Miles – 1mile Club Champs

1 Mile Club Championships 2018

LBAC descended upon Stantonbury track on Sunday 8 July in baking hot sunshine. The track itself wasn’t the only thing on fire, with lots of fast miles completed, with many improving on last year’s efforts.

Parents and club members took up the stop watches and timed so firstly a big thank you should go out to all of those who made the mile possible.

Thirty three members took up the challenge across four different heats, which were indeed, incredibly hot as everybody ran well in difficult conditions. read more

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